ATLANTA—In retrospect, the Braves' decision to jump Joey Terdoslavich from high Class A directly to Triple-A Gwinnett may have been a case of too much, too fast.
The Braves demoted Terdoslavich to Double-A Mississippi after he struggled in all phases of the game during his two-month stint in the International League.
The switch-hitter got off to a decent start at Gwinnett—he was batting as high as .250 on April 18—before enduring an extended slump that included a 15-for-98 (.153) showing with two extra-base hits and 27 strikeouts in May. All told, the 23-year-old batted .180/.252/.263 in 53 Triple-A games.
Terdoslavich had difficulty finding solace in any part of his game, for his defense proved even more problematic than his offense. Moved across the diamond to third base after playing first in 2011, the Long Beach State product had 22 errors in 50 games to lead the IL. That performance equated to a fielding percentage of .831.
"I felt for the guy because he just looked lost out there," a National League scout said.
A sixth-round pick in 2010, Terdoslavich established the Carolina League record with 52 doubles last year at high Class A Lynchburg. He continued to impress during the Arizona Fall League and hit a home run in the circuit's Rising Stars contest.
Terdoslavich continued to impress during spring training with the major league team. With third baseman Chipper Jones announcing he would retire at the end of the 2012 season, and with no heir apparent in place, the Braves made the decision to push Terdoslavich by having him skip the Double-A level. The enhanced competition and defensive demands proved to be a jump too large.
In his first week as first baeman with Mississippi, Terdoslavich hit a grand slam at Tennessee. The Braves said they will continue to evaluate where his glove might fit best in the organization's long-term plans, which may be left field.
For now, the goal is to get him back in his comfort zone in order to have a productive second half of the season.
• In a contrasting development path, shortstop Andrelton Simmons spent two months in Double-A before he replaced fellow rookie Tyler Pastornicky in Atlanta. In his first 10 games, Simmons batted .257/.333/.457 and committed no errors.
• The Braves had signed 25 of their first 30 picks—including their top five selections—just a week after the draft.